Saturday, January 30, 2016


so this was a long time ago (hence the shorts). during labor day weekend last year, i went with my dad to fort macarthur in san pedro. this was actually a place recommended by a couple we met at our hostel in sausalito back last march. they were from playa del rey (a beach community in los angeles).

fort macarthur was established in the late 1800s as a us army base (ironically, today part of the base is owned by the us air force). it was used for training and defense from world war I to the early years of the cold war. the army used the base to guard the coast from 1914 to 1974.

so mash like.

for whatever reason there was a guy cooking an old fashion dinner the way that soldiers would do it while they were out at war. with some kind of pressure cooker or gas cooker (maybe?). it smelt heavenly, like mashed potaters. also, this was that guys jeep. 

battery farley-osgood is the best preserved battery in fort macarthur.

battery farley

batter osgood.

little, old me.

inside both batter farley and osgood is a museum on the history of the forts, including almost a dozen old vehicles. i thought the most interesting exhibit was on the tunnels that are within the property. they are not accessible to the public (obviously they don't meet earthquake standards), but there are artifacts from archaeological digs inside the museum from when the tunnels were first discovered.

another battery up the hill.

there is also a k9 graveyard. unfortunately it was locked because people have been known to deface the grave markers. does were trained in san pedro during wwii.

a funny jeep with a mustache and a funny dad with a mustache.

i think there may be some private properties on the site and for some reason there was a casket. 

a lonely booth

i definitely want to go back and stay at the hostel on site during a long weekend. it is located at old military barracks (kinda like my time at sausalito). also wikipedia tells me madonna filmed part of her 'like a prayer' video here. awesome.

a chunck of the old fort is angel's gate park. sprinkled throughout the park are little remnants of the land's military history, but the main point of interest is the korean bell of friendship. past the bell, you can overlook the ocean over the bluff. 

also, on the way to the fort we ran into literally hundreds of ninja bikes on the freeway. there must have been some sort of meet up or convention near by. it was so scary seeing them dart past cars. it was hard to keep an eye on dozens of cycles buzzing past your car. there was even one guy with ram horns coming out of his helmet.

it may not be as large as the fort in sausalito, but it was still a great little place nearby to learn a little more about my backyard's role during wwii and defense.

now for a song. i chose 'you are ocean,' by phantogram. it's really pretty, and honestly i prefer his vocals overs hers. enjoy!

Friday, January 8, 2016


now finally! the conclusion of my trips to sacramento.....from october. the next day me and my sister went on a little road trip to coloma (about an hour from sacramento). we woke up kind of bright and early and made our trek. coloma is little (and i mean a very little town, with less than 600 population) and up in the hills and near the sacramento river. this is the site where john marshall discovered gold and the california gold rush began. i really wanted to go because the city has a pretty expansive state park, marshall gold discovery state historic park (shp). this is also the first california state park. literally, the city center is a 2 lane street with 2 restaurants and old historic buildings that are either closed or demonstrates the history. coloma is considered a ghost town, something i found out after the fact.

our first stop, was trying to figure out how to pay for parking. apparently, the honesty policy is very big. you just had to fill out an envelope and leave a little cash in a mailbox.

after, we went to a little hippy dippy cafe called the argonaut. it was very cute and used locally grown products. they mainly sold coffee/tea, sandwiches, and pie. kind of made me think of gilmore girls. 

i got an avocado turkey sandwich with a cappuccino while my sister got apple pie. we ate on their little balcony. this was probably my favorite thing of the day. it was nice with fresh weather and good company in a little town full of character.


the old blacksmith shop down the street

another old building...

...and another (the papini house c.1890s)

i saw bambi!

we then made our way to the little museum and visitors center of the shp. there, we met the nicest ranger. if you know me or read this blog you know rangers are my favorite type of people. i don't remember his name but he was the head historian. i bonded with him because we both studied california history and he told me i should work at a state park (but boo :( there are very few in socal). my sister bonded with him over plants and rocks. it turns out he travels around collecting pretty rocks/stones. he gave 'us' (but in the end i let my sister have full custody) a pretty green stone he found and polished. rangers are da best :D

after, we looked through the museum and went to the cute little shop and bought some goodies. my sister surprisingly went a little crae crae.

outside the museum there was a little trail surrounded by relics from the gold rush period, including...

an old jail from the 1800s (and my sister)

mining equipment

and even more mining equipment! 

 reconstruction of a miner's cabin

and a reconstruction of a chinese store.

along the trail we also saw wild grapes (this city girl has never seen grapes in their natural habitat)

it was pretty rainy and windy so there were several people kayaking down the american river.

after, we drove up the hill to see the monument dedicated to john marshall. also up on the hill was an old church, a cemetery and some old buildings.

john marshall's cabin (and a wild gooseball).

near the church was a wood pecker.

further up on the hill is sutter mill cemetery, or pioneer  cemetery. it was founded in the mid 1800s.

originally, we were going to also go to gold bug mine and the el dorado county museum in placerville, but it turned out that the shp was more time consuming than what i thought, something i was ok with. the only place i really wish we went to was gold bug mine. maybe next time.

after, we went to placerville to see the fountain & tallman museum. it was very small and to be honest not that interesting but it was nice to see see a little town with a lot of character. the museum was located in a downtown strip. while there, we also stopped at a gypsy/mermaid store and a hipster coffee shop. the cafe was in an old building and the old elevator shaft was used as the little sugar/milk station. very cool.

that night my sister, her friends, and i went to downtown for mexican food and got brick toast for desert. it is a delicious concoction similar to french toast (minus the egg) filled with ice cream. the ice cream made the toast nice and doughy, yummy.

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the next day, and last day, was chill. we slept in, picked up some coffee at the local produce store, the nugget, and decorated my sister's place with halloween decorations. we then spent the day in downtown davis where we did some shopping. i bought a record at their local shop, armadillo. we then ate at deveres, a little pub. i got fish and chips, she got bangers and mash, but we split each meal in half and shared. after i got some coffee at a hipster shop.

we then went to uc davis, my sister's alma mater, and saw some of the old buildings and walked around the arboretum. not long after that i had to make my way to the airport.

now for a song. i decided on macklemore and ryan lewis' "downtown," because this song reminds me of this trip. enjoy! boo for no music video :(

phew, now finally this post is done. it took forever!

Friday, January 1, 2016


another year another post to reflect. this one will be short because unlike others, i decided to do this last minute. meaning the night of. originally i was going to post the last leg of my trip to sacramento (which was like over 2 months ago, but whatever), but tradition trumps.

2015 was a big year but i would dare say not as big as 2104 (my dc internship/trip, my first truly solo trip, presenting at a conference, finding out i was going to be published). 2014 may have been more exciting for me, but 2015 was really a year of transition.

i got a new job YAY. definitely the best thing to happen this year. the journey may have given me a major headache (who likes uncertainty, writing resumes, barely anyone responding, and job interviews), but it was worth it. and i am proud to say by the time i started my first day it only took me a little over 5 months after graduating to find a job. i really enjoy my government job and can see my self moving up and feeling fulfilled while my brain keeps ticking.

i also finally got a physical copy of the journal i'm published in (which i also found out i won best undergraduate paper). YAY me.

i also graduated from college with a b.a. in history (which i definitely don't regret) and a minor in public administration. who says you can't get a good job with a history degree.

and last but not least, my favorite thing about 2015 was traveling to new places! i was able to go on 3 major trips:

new orleans, louisianna

sausalito/tiburon/san francisco/richmond, california

sacramento/davis/coloma, california

and to add, i was also able to go on a few little adventures around the area. most were on this blog (and even one more from this summer that i didn't have time to post, but will be on the blog this year).

next year will be a good year to me. hopefully i will be adjusting more to my job and the 9 to 5 (technically 8 to 5) life, including off my probationary period! maybe i will be moved out of my parents' house, but i am in no rush. it's nice to save money to hopefully afford my own little house by the time i am 30. a girl can dream. also some big trips in the future. towards the beginning of the year i will be in portland and the end in boston. fun stuff. and 2017 will be even bigger!

for 2016, i am done with new years resolutions. i can never really succeed with them and you can assume the resolutions from years past will also haunt me this year.

i decided to twist things up. instead of choosing lea michele's 'aul lang syne' (which i still really love), i thought i would choose a song that has nothing to do with new years but still gives me the same feels. i think that is because it is irish, mentions alcohol, and reminisces on the past. 'mccormacks wall' by glen hansard.